There are some times when you go to a restaurant and you just think to yourself: YES, this is a good place…I want to come back here soon. The recently opened Salt Tapas in Raffles City Shopping Centre is one of those places for me…
As the ‘tapas war machine’ slowly invades Singapore this year, it was such an immense pleasure to see such a unique concept in the field.
Upon walking in, Ms Demeanour and myself were greeted by friendly staff and swiftly lead us to our table near the back, past the bar/tapas style seating.
Rather than having all the traditional Spanish comida, the menu offers a very cool fusion of Moroccan, South American and Mediterranean cuisine, which frankly are some of my favourite foods in the world. Off to a good start then…
After salivating over the small but well chosen menu, we eventually opted for a nice selection of meat, fish, salad dishes including of course some of the house specialities.
So here’s the run-down: Over lunch you can order a set of 3 tapas (which comes with bread and a tomato salsa for $35, or you can just go a-la-carte all the way. Whilst the set offers a very good selection, there were a few dishes that we were eager beavers to try which weren’t included in the set and so we forwent the former option…
Arriving after only a few minutes came the first in a barrage of dishes; the Moroccan steak tartare ($18). For those like me who get monthly cravings for steak tartare, give this one a go! It’s something very unique and really quite tasty. Rather than the standard french style, Salt’s beef tartare is mixed with cumin (amongst other spices), raisins, almond slices, olive oil and much more. The beef is also cut quite chunky so it has a great rustic feel to. My only complaint was that I wanted more!
Following suite from the tatare, the other of our meat dishes came out – the Lamb Bresaola ($12), an awesome option, especially for those us that don’t indulge in the swine (though they do have parma prosciutto at $10 or Iberico ham if you are interested). Aside from being quite a generous portion, this dish just looks and smells great. It’s got a great smokey aroma to and the texture is just so soft…Really something special.
Unfortunately we weren’t massively impressed with the Crispy soft shell prawns ($15), served with with chili and garlic aioli, the prawns just lacked that special something…not quite crispy, and not so juicy on the inside. We spied another table that seemed to have left theirs for the most part…which is a shame because they smelt and looked great.
This was however, more than made up for by our other fishy dish, the Kingfish sashimi ($21), although rather a small portion, these fat cuts of sashimi made me want to do the Hula. Loaded up with a ginger and shallot topping and some crumbles of persian feta, this was excellent. A unique and delicious dish. The fish was soft and practically melted in my mouth and the garlic/shallot combo was surprisingly mild.
As for our two veggie dishes, the signature Arancini ($9 for small, $14 for large) was a safe choice. Stuffed with rice, wild mushrooms, leek; a drizzle of truffle oil really brought out the flavours and made each ball a savoury treasure. Also, loved the minty-yoghurt dressing.
The Roasted pumpkin ($12) served with dukkah, spanish blue cheese and some caramelized walnut and pear was also quite decent. Nothing to get super-psyched about but it was fresh and flavourful dish – and we definitely enjoyed the balance between the sweet pear vs salted cheese. I’d order it again when I come back.
And for dessert – yes there was room! Always is!
Luke’s licquorice parfait ($12) & Roasted figs with candied ginger, baklava with yoghurt sorbet ($13).
The licquorice is weird. I mean this in a good way though! Like a lot of the items on the menu, Chef Luke Mangan blends some unusual flavour-cominations and this is no exception. Once you get over the initial shock to the palate, the licquorice is excellent. As for the baklava, expect a very rustic-style pastry with a fresh apple taste. best with ice cream as the pastry is a bit dry (though probably a lot more healthy than the traditional version).
Salt Tapas is offers the whole package…..The service is excellent and the staff are well informed about the dishes. The place has an excellent atmosphere..it’s comfortable but has a vibrant feel to it thanks to the speed of the service and the music played…
and best of the all – the food is excellent..AND at a pretty fair price.
I’ve been seriously impressed with Salt Tapas and its rather inspired me to go check out their grill restaurant in the very near future!
Either way, i’ll be back at Salt Tapas & Bar very soon, and I strongly suggest you give it a try as well.